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Found 14 results

  1. “I’m sorry, sweetheart these are tumors in your lungs and a form of lung cancer”. These were the words spoken to a vibrant, healthy 36-year-old female on October 19, 2017, by the thoracic surgeon. I knew that things were probably not good when he came in and asked if I was alone. Unfortunately, I was alone. Looking back, that day seems like a blur. I remember the ladies at the checkout desk asking how I was doing as they ask so many patients all day long. It’s mere customer service, right? I never made eye contact and mustered enough energy to say the word “fine”. I was far from fine, but I just wanted to get out of there. I never cried in the doctor’s office that day, but walking down that winding hallway and through the parking lot felt like I was carrying cinder blocks for shoes around my feet. The minute I got in my car and closed the door was the moment that I completely lost myself. I have cancer. I am going to die. My parents are going to have to bury their only child. My world felt like it had crashed. The days and weeks ahead were just amazing considering my new circumstances. People loved on me like I had never been loved on before. I received cards and texts and all sorts of support, but a part of me wanted to tell them that I was still the same person and I appreciated the cards of support, but that I wasn’t dead yet. Please hold the flowers too. My lung cancer diagnosis was a complete shock as it is to so many. However, I was asymptomatic and cancer was the last thing on my brain. I was hospitalized for a Bartholin Cyst. I had my yearly exam already scheduled with my OB/GYN and this exam was far from routine. I explained to the nurse that I was in pain and was running temperatures between 101-103⁰. I visited the local emergency room twice to attempt to acquire some relief and was incorrectly diagnosed. My OB/GYN admitted me to get antibiotics started quickly and mentioned a minor surgery, but before I went to the hospital, he wanted me to have a CT of my abdomen to identify the cyst prior to any procedure. Thankfully, the tech caught just the lower portion of my lungs on that scan and the radiologist noted lung nodules. When I went back to my OB/GYN for my check up, he mentioned the lung nodules and ordered a full chest scan. He informed me that people had benign nodules and they could be there from my severe infection, but that he wanted to just make sure that it wasn’t anything. The next day he called me to inform that the nodules were still there and he would like for me to see a Pulmonary Specialist. I agreed and the Pulmonary Specialist was very concerned about the number of nodules in my lungs which were over 100 scattered across both lungs. He conducted a bronchoscope and a needle biopsy for which both were non-diagnostic and I was then punted to the Thoracic Surgeon. The Thoracic Surgeon removed three wedge sections and sent the pathology off to Mayo Clinic in Arizona. After further molecular testing, my oncologist educated me on the different mutations and the path of treatment that would be taken for each of them. It was determined that I was Stage IV due to both lungs being involved and was positive for T790M. I began Tagrisso as a first line on November 11, 2017. After 6 months on this drug, my last scans read “barely perceptible”. I will keep taking Tagrisso until resistance occurs and hopefully there will be another inhibitor to take its place. When I was first diagnosed, I would literally wake up in the night in a panic. I couldn’t sleep, eat or function normally. I started browsing the internet for support groups and pages as well as social media. I found the LUNGevity private patient groups on Facebook and asked to be added to every single one of them. I began telling my story and people started responding to me and sharing their stories. Strangers were sending me encouraging private messages. I saw people living and thriving with an incurable, life-shortening disease. I found hope. I started sleeping and not crying so much. Finding those support groups really made the initial journey a bit easier. Although we were strangers, we were brought together by a common bond. I’ve since been able to meet some of those people in person through the HOPE Summit and my “family” has grown by leaps and bounds. I would have never met these incredible people without lung cancer. Receiving a lung cancer diagnosis is not something any of us would have willingly signed up for, but I am thankful that I was able to find out before it spread all over my body and treatment options were expunged. I am also thankful for the perspective shift. I now know what it means to live each day with intent. The days of merely existing are over. It’s time to live and love life to the fullest because I now understand the value of each day that I am given.
  2. Show us your creativity! Submit an original piece of artwork inspired by hope, courage, and empowerment to LUNGevity. Your design could be chosen for the 2018 National HOPE Summit t-shirts and used in marketing efforts to raise awareness about lung cancer! You do not need to attend the 2018 National HOPE Summit in order to submit artwork or an idea. The deadline to submit is Monday, February 26, 2018. Please visit the contest website for complete rules and to make a submission.
  3. I was 52, a wife, mom and teacher when diagnosed with stage 3a NSC Adenocarcinoma lung cancer in September 2012. I had no symptoms and did not fit the criteria of a lung cancer candidate. An observant radiologist had noticed a small shadow in my lower right lobe when viewing an unrelated abdominal scan in 2010. Because I didn’t fit any of the LC criteria, no specialist or surgeon thought that it would be lung cancer. They adopted a “wait and see” plan using two six-month scans and then moved to a one-year scan at which that point indicated that my “nothing” spot had in fact grown and was probably lung cancer. My world had been turned upside down. I quickly had surgery to remove my bottom right lobe and several lymph nodes. Unfortunately, cancer was found in the lymph nodes and the tumor. This led to four rounds of chemotherapy (Cisplatin and Navelbine) and 25 treatments of radiation along with all the mental and physical issues that many people can only imagine. Cancer can be a very lonely disease even when you have a ton of support. I couldn’t find survivors in my area so I began searching out on-line groups that I could communicate with about my disease. This is where I discovered LUNGevity! The members of this group and all those associated with the organization wrapped their cyber arms around me and welcomed me into their world. This was literally a life-saving experience for me and continues to be part of my daily communication. Two years ago, people in the group began speaking about the National HOPE Summit in Washington, D.C. and how beneficial it was for both patients and caregivers. Because I am Canadian, I inquired as to whether my husband and I could attend. I was told of course we could! My husband and I attended HOPE Summit and that experience has changed my life. Meeting other survivors and hearing from physicians and researchers empowered me to return to my own country and begin asking questions about lung cancer research and most importantly, begin my work as a lung cancer advocate. The Summit allowed me to meet so many people who are advocates not only for their own health but also for lung cancer research and advocacy work. These people meet with politicians, organize, and participate in lung cancer fundraisers and teach so many of us about treatment options. Although Canada does not have as large a network, there is a small group of us who have been empowered to meet with politicians, educate and support others with the disease and spread the word about early lung cancer diagnosis, all because of our experience at a LUNGevity HOPE Summit. Education is power but knowing you are part of a strong, supportive, and knowledgeable group of individuals is invaluable. Thank you LUNGevity!
  4. Hello, my friends! I HOPE, wherever you are, that you are having a beautiful Spring! I HOPE, whatever you are up against, that you are finding support and peace in your endeavors. I HOPE, however you need, that you are finding the time to create room for yourself in your busy schedule. I HOPE, above all, that you and yours are doing well. Thanks to #LUNGevity, May is officially “Lung Cancer HOPE Month.” This particular awareness campaign places a much-needed focus on all there is to be HOPEful about in the #lungcancer world. To that end, we will be talking frequently this month about what HOPE looks like; what it feels like; what it means to you and to your loved ones involved in this lung cancer experience. Also: I had the extreme honor of attending LUNGevity’s national HOPE Summit this past weekend. For the first time, the Summit featured a separate day of sessions designed for Caregivers: the “COPE” Summit. My suitcase is still in the hall; I am still sore, sleepy, and overwhelmed: in the MOST productive and phenomenal way possible! If you have not yet attended a regional or national HOPE Summit, I could not possibly recommend it more wholeheartedly. The experience is hard to explain, other than saying it is a near-necessity for anyone touched by lung cancer: there is nothing more uplifting than being surrounded by fellow survivors, Caregivers, experts, and researchers who are ALL working through the same difficulties to reach the same goals. The sense of community is intoxicating, and the sense of forward progress in policy and knowledge is inspiring. It is part conference, part congregation, part school, part party, part reunion, part group therapy, and ALL heart. Thank-you, LUNGevity!!! I had briefly considered writing a novel-length post that would recap all of the Caregiver-specific takeaways from the weekend, but then I realized that that would be unfair: unfair to you, my friend, having to read all of that at once, and unfair to the extent of the material itself. I have plenty of talking points from the conference to share with you, all about HOPE, and since this is HOPE month…you see where I am going with this… Stay! Tuned! Let’s start conversations! Let’s put our heads together and be honest and be open and reach out. I would be honored to hear from you! To kick off this month-long conversation, our regular monthly #LCCaregiver Twitter chat will be tonight (Wednesday, 5/3) at 8pmET. You know the drill: follow the hashtag #LCCaregiver to participate. (I highly recommend using a chatroom service such as tchat.io as well. Just put tchat.io in your address bar, and enter #LCCaregiver when it asks for a hashtag). If you are not on Twitter, please join! The lung cancer support community on Twitter is large, active, and incredibly helpful. There is no need to face any of this alone! The message boards and blogs here on LCSC are profoundly comforting, and the Twitter presence of fellow advocates is a meaningful complement. For tonight’s chat, we’ll be focusing on breaking down a large question: what is the role of Caregivers in spreading and advocating for HOPE in lung cancer? One major thought I’ve had since the HOPE Summit—one major takeaway I will explain in more depth later—is that HOPE can be complicated. It can be especially complicated when the Caregiver is taking the natural backup role: we are not the patient. What are our boundaries? When should we captain the HOPE ship? When should we yield? Is it a different skill to help our loved ones be HOPEful than it is to help spread HOPE in the wider community? Think on that. The specific topics I’ll be asking about tonight are listed below. I can’t wait to “see” you tonight! Bring your popcorn and a friend (or two)! Love and thanks, Danielle Topics for #LCCaregiver Twitter Chat 5/3 What does HOPE look like to you? What brings you HOPE? What does HOPE look like in the broader cancer community? What have you done to bring HOPE to your loved one? What can we, as Caregivers, do to bring HOPE to our loved one? Is there something that we, as Caregivers, can do to bring HOPE to our loved ones with cancer? What specific actions can Caregivers take to support Lung Cancer HOPE Month? What actions are appropriate for us to take as Caregivers to promote HOPE? What do we do if we have different ideas about #HOPE than our loved ones?
  5. Cancer advocate to address largest lung cancer survivor conference FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media Contact: Linda Wenger [email protected] (973) 449-3214 Country music star and cancer survivor Wade Hayes WASHINGTON, DC (February 16, 2017) – LUNGevity Foundation is excited to announce that country music star Wade Hayes will be sharing his cancer journey with lung cancer survivors and their caregivers at the 7th Annual National HOPE Summit on April 29 in Washington, DC. As opening keynote speaker, he will relate his experiences before the largest convening of lung cancer survivors in the country. The annual LUNGevity National HOPE Summit is the largest lung cancer survivorship conference where attendees come from across the country and around the world to learn about living well with lung cancer. The three-day event features inspirational speakers, medical expert forums, lung cancer survivor-specific sessions, advocacy sessions and opportunities for lung cancer survivors at all points in their treatment to connect with each other. Hayes will kick off the two-day conference and set the tone of hope for all in attendance. Hayes was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer in the fall of 2011. After extensive surgery and debilitating chemotherapy, Hayes battled his way back to health only to have the cancer return in the fall of 2012. The country singer fought back and channeled his experience into his latest album, “Go Live Your Life.” Today, Hayes is cancer free, a dedicated advocate for people living with cancer, and an active supporter of the Colon Cancer Alliance and other cancer nonprofits. He has spoken and performed at numerous events across the country to raise funds to fight cancer and inspire others. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to have Wade Hayes join us for this one-of-a-kind celebration of lung cancer survivorship,” said Katie Brown, VP Support and Survivorship. “His commitment to advocating on behalf of others with cancer makes Wade an inspiration for all of us.” The National HOPE Summit is a 2½ day conference in Washington, DC, that is open to lung cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers. Learn more about this unique event and register atwww.LUNGevity.org/hopesummit. Read the full press release here.
  6. Hello there …. my name is Alisa Brenes and I am a 16-year Stage 3 lung cancer survivor. I guess you can say my lung cancer journey started before I was born. My mom, my maternal grandfather and many of his siblings all died of lung cancer. I am motivated to do my part to end our family history now. I have been a lung cancer advocate for over ten years, most of my work behind the scenes, but little by little I’m coming out and sharing my story. I hope to follow this introduction with more blogs, sharing hope and spreading awareness. I was diagnosed in July of 2000, just a few months after my mom passed away from lung cancer. It still boggles my mind that I was taking care of my mother while the same cancer was growing inside my lung. I had a third of my lung removed and followed up with chemotherapy. I am a single mother of twin boys who were 10 years old at the time. They were in fourth grade and I didn’t even know if I would be there for their elementary school graduation. Thanks to God and my amazing doctors, I lived to see my twins graduate from college. My next goal is to see them happily employed I was diagnosed before social media and message boards were around, the world wide web was fairly new and there wasn’t even google yet. I felt lost and had never met another lung cancer survivor. Within a few months the internet started becoming more popular and all that changed. Somehow (thank you Universe!) I found Katie Brown’s original message board and through that I not only connected with other Survivors, but I was introduced to the first Walk for a Cure (now called Breathe Deep NYC) and have been volunteering ever since. And if that wasn’t enough to keep me hopeful and connected (and it was …) I was introduced by Katie and LUNGevity to Hope Summit! If anyone wants to know what it is like to be in a room with hundreds of survivors (but no one ever gets lost in the crowd, somehow we end up like one big family) just come to Hope Summit. The energy is amazing and you leave the Summit with life-changing knowledge, friendships and Hope. This is not a journey I chose or one that I would wish on others, but the truth is I've grown so much through this and have such an appreciation of every day and the friends I now call family that I've met through lung cancer have enriched my life beyond words! As strange as it might sound to some, I can actually say that my cancer diagnosis brought me many blessings. It is my desire to share hope and friendship with other survivors and help spread awareness so one day we will live in a world where no one dies of lung cancer.
  7. I recently read a quote from a cancer survivor about online support. "When I stumble, there are so many virtual hands to catch me.” This is the same sentiment that has been expressed about LUNGevity’s Lung Cancer Support Community and the many support groups on Facebook. People impacted by lung cancer can come online and be embraced by others who have walked the same journey and who understand what they may be going thru. There is power in the written word and from receiving support from a group of people. Building a community of support can help you feel less alone in the cancer journey. But there are times when people need more. For example, newly diagnosed patients and their families often feel overwhelmed with the medical process, uncertainties and fears and they need additional support. Some people are not active social media users. Some people need more than virtual hands to catch them. What they need is a strong hand to hold onto. Those are the people who benefit from the personalized support of LUNGevity’s LifeLine Support Mentor Program. The program, originating from the Lung Cancer Support Community “Support Buddy Program”, is in its 14th year of helping people. Based on individual needs, LifeLine has supported people online, through email and by telephone. A personalized match is made between a survivor mentor and a patient and they begin their supportive relationship based on commonalities whenever possible, like age range, gender and stage and type of lung cancer. LifeLine also matches caregivers and family members to other more seasoned caregivers and family members. Oftentimes caregivers and families bear the brunt of the responsibility of caring for their loved ones physical, emotional and financial needs and neglect caring for themselves. Those caring individuals we call co-survivors need support too. We’ve matched survivors, patients and caregivers from across the country. We’ve matched people at our annual HOPE Summits and we are a resources for many hospitals, clinics and social workers. Here’s what one support seeker said. “It’s amazing. I never knew anyone with a lung cancer diagnosis, now I’m matched with someone like me who has survived these same treatments. She gives me so much hope.” If you or someone you know has been impacted by lung cancer and would like to request a LifeLine Support Mentor or if you would like to volunteer to become a LifeLine Mentor, please visit www.lungevity.org/lifeline Visit our website here if you would like to request materials.
  8. Join LUNGevity for Columbus Regional HOPE Summit! Saturday, October 29, 2016 The Boat House at Confluence Park 679 W. Spring Street, Columbus, OH 43215 LUNGevity HOPE Summits are unique national and regional survivorship conferences that educate, empower, and create a community of support for lung cancer survivors. At HOPE Summits, LUNGevity serves as a bridge between patients, their families, and the medical and support communities. While lung cancer survivors are encouraged and invited to attend, caregivers and medical professionals wanting to learn more about lung cancer survivorship are also welcome. All conference sessions will be geared toward those living with a lung cancer diagnosis. The summit is free to attend, but registration is required. For more information and to register online, visit www,lungevity.org/columbushope
  9. Join LUNGevity for Detroit Regional HOPE Summit! Saturday, October 8, 2016 Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center400 Renaissance Drive, Detroit, MI 48243 LUNGevity HOPE Summits are unique national and regional survivorship conferences that educate, empower, and create a community of support for lung cancer survivors. At HOPE Summits, LUNGevity serves as a bridge between patients, their families, and the medical and support communities. While lung cancer survivors are encouraged and invited to attend, caregivers and medical professionals wanting to learn more about lung cancer survivorship are also welcome. All conference sessions will be geared toward those living with a lung cancer diagnosis. The summit is free to attend, but registration is required. For more information and to register online, visit www,lungevity.org/detroithope
  10. Hot off the presses, there are still a limited amount of travel grants available (paid for accommodations) for LUNGevity's 6th annual HOPE Summit in DC! Please help us *share* the word. Here is the link to register:www.LUNGevity.org/DCHope
  11. Help invite people to learn about LUNGevity by taking brochures with you next time you are in a place where other people who have been affected by lung cancer would benefit from them. The brochures have information about LifeLine - A peer to peer support program, advocacy opportunities, information about HOPE Summits, and more! http://www.lungevity.org/about-us/request-materials
  12. SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2015 MARRIOTT PORTLAND DOWNTOWN WATERFRONT, 1401 SW NAITO PARKWAY, PORTLAND, OR 97201 A survivorship conference for anyone who has ever been diagnosed with lung cancer Saturday, September 12, 2015 LOCATION Marriott Portland Downtown Waterfront 1401 SW Naito Parkway, Portland, OR 97201 SCHEDULE 10:00 am - 4:00 pm - Conference sessions 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm - Networking reception ABOUT REGIONAL HOPE SUMMIT NORTHWEST LUNGevity HOPE Summits are unique national and regional survivorship conferences that educate, empower, and create a community of support for lung cancer survivors. At HOPE Summits, LUNGevity serves as a bridge between patients, their families, and the medical and support communities. While lung cancer survivors are encouraged and invited to attend, caregivers and medical professionals wanting to learn more about lung cancer survivorship are also welcome. All conference sessions will be geared toward those who have been diagnosed with lung cancer. The summit is free to attend, but registration is required to save your seat. The featured expert speaker will be Dr. Jeremy Cetnar of Oregon Health & Science University.
  13. The Pacific Northwest is home to a vibrant community of lung cancer survivors and advocates and is proud to host a Regional HOPE Summit. This summit provides an opportunity to meet peers and experts, and enjoy the beautiful area. Regional HOPE Summit Northwest (Portland OR) registration is open! Join us Sept 12 in Portland for this great event! www.lungevity.org/northwesthope
  14. MAY 1-3, 2015 Our National HOPE Summit takes place the first week of May, Lung Cancer HOPE Month. The goal of the weekend is to provide a summit for survivors with educational sessions covering topics like research, immunotherapy, ask the oncologist, pulmonary rehabilitation, communicating with your caregivers, managing your medical team, living with lung cancer, nutrition, writing and blogging, becoming an empowered advocate, and sharing lung cancer survivor stories. This 2½ days of celebrating lung cancer survivorship is an experience you won't want to miss. http://lungevity.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.event&eventID=534
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